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Lack of Insulation Devastating for Whānau Health

Manawatū Tenants’ Union

1000 hrs, 14/12/18

Lack of Insulation Devastating for Whānau Health, Lazy Landlords Condemned

An MBIE monitoring report that shows up to 220,000 rental properties are still uninsulated, with many likely to be meet the deadline, is concerning but unsurprising for the Manawatū Tenants’ Union.

Insulation will be compulsory as of the 1st of July 2019 unless it is physically impossible or extremely cumbersome to do so. Currently, all landlords are required to provide an insulation statement to tenants.

The Manawatū Tenants’ Union reports still seeing an increase in cases of poor quality housing. MTU Coordinator Ben Schmidt states:

“It is unacceptable that many tenants are likely to be uninsulated after the deadline passes. We are still seeing regular cases of landlords failing to meet the current requirement, which is just a simple insulation statement. Lazy landlords are forcing tenants to pay the cost in heating, in doctors’ bills, and in time off work. Unfortunately, many of the tenants we work with are not even able to properly afford heating or medical treatment. The lack of insulation is devastating for whānau health, both physically and financially.”

Stronger regulation will be essential to protecting tenants and prosecuting landlords who fail the standards, the MTU says.

“Requiring insulation will be a great improvement, and the Ministry is taking a strong approach so far to ensure the standards are met. But for many vulnerable tenants who are afraid to take their landlords to the Tenancy Tribunal, stronger laws are needed. A rental Warrant of Fitness would ensure that landlords are immediately penalized if their property does not meet requirements, with less stress placed on tenants.”

The MTU urges tenants to contact them for help if they have any concerns regarding their tenancy situation and quality of housing.


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